• UFC 133

Machida hopes he hasn't soured UFC relationship

ESPN staff
July 14, 2011

Lyoto Machida has stood by his decision not to fight at UFC 133, confirming Dana White's claim that he asked for the same money as Anderson Silva.

UFC president Dana White turned to Machida as a replacement for Phil Davis in the UFC 133 main event against Rashad Evans, after Tito Ortiz had initially rebuffed White's advances. However, Machida went back on his initial acceptance, attempting to get more money out of the UFC.

White lambasted the Brazilian, describing it as a "slap in the face", after Machida asked for the same money as undefeated middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Machida has since confirmed that he did demand a greater payday, insisting the risk he would have taken in accepting a fight on three-weeks' notice deserved the extra reward.

"I wanted a guarantee to fight," Machida told Sherdog. "My manager, 'Joinha' [Jorge Guimaraes], called me and I said at first that I was excited to be in the line-up. But, after meeting with my team, we saw that it wouldn't be a good idea, especially because Dana White wanted me to travel to the U.S. immediately to have my training camp there.

"Many of the members of my corner don't have visas right now. Then, I said, 'If you want me to fight, pay me as a champion. Pay me like you pay Anderson Silva.'"

Elaborating on his reasoning, Machida continued: "A man approaches you wanting to buy your house, but you don't want to sell it. So then, you ask for a higher price. You want it? Then pay what I'm asking.

"I can't put my career at risk with a bad showing. I think I'd have more to lose than to win in that fight. I have a name in the company. I don't fight without being prepared, even when I lose. I can't step in and take the chance of having a bad fight. Today, you have to be extremely prepared.

"If I'm requested [to fight] in a different way from now on, OK," said Machida. "It's not like I can't train in Belem, but 'pack your stuff and go to the U.S.,' that takes money and time. It's a professional relationship.

"Everything is business and people need to split things. I hope the UFC won't harm me. It's got to be 100 per cent with me and them. I want to respect the promotion, my fans and myself. That was my main cause for turning down that fight."

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